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Relational epistemic safety: what young people facing harm in their communities want and need from professionals tasked with helping them

Owens, Rachael; Walker, Joanne; Bradbury-Leather, Vanessa

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Abstract

When young people are harmed beyond their families, what kinds of professional relationships help to keep them safe? Contextual Safeguarding is an approach to creating safety in community and school contexts that asks how changes can be made in the environment to create safer contexts. However, (mis)interpretations of the approach have given rise to practice devoid of relationships with the young people affected by professional decisions, and which override their rights and ways of knowing. We draw on consultations with young people about what they need from professional relationships when they experience extra-familial harm – called the Young People's Relationship Framework (YPRF). We then use this to analyse three pilot studies of multi-agency practice aimed at creating safety in extra-familial contexts. The findings show that, for a relational orientation to be achieved, professionals need to be guided by how young people know the world. We argue that this requires professionals to undergo a process of ‘undoing’: giving up privileged ways of knowing and making decisions, leading to what we have termed relational epistemic safety. We offer this to support professionals in developing relationships with young people who experience extra-familial harm that are characterised by equality and respect.

Citation

Owens, R., Walker, J., & Bradbury-Leather, V. (2024). Relational epistemic safety: what young people facing harm in their communities want and need from professionals tasked with helping them. Journal of Youth Studies, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2024.2348727

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 11, 2024
Online Publication Date May 17, 2024
Publication Date May 17, 2024
Deposit Date Jul 2, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jul 2, 2024
Journal Journal of Youth Studies
Print ISSN 1367-6261
Electronic ISSN 1469-9680
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Pages 1-20
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2024.2348727
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2514618

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Licence
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publisher Licence URL
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Copyright Statement
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.





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